Pragmatic PowerPoint to image Converter - Windows

Version (45.1 KB) by Eydrian
A matlab based function to convert PowerPoint slides to images with a given resolution


Updated Wed, 10 Jul 2013 18:54:04 +0000

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PowerPoint is a mighty tool to implement quickly a series of visual presentations. Most researchers already worked with PowerPoint and know how to use it. Alignment, emphasis, text style, basic geometric shapes, displaying of images and many other things are done very fast.
Why not use it to display visual stimuli?
One of the problems is that storing images out of PowerPoint is not so easy controllable. On Windows it’s only possible to change the resolution in steps of 10 by changing a specific key in the registry. But for many laboratory computers the registry is not accessible/writeable. Besides, export out of PowerPoint allows only one JPEG – format.
Whereas on PowerPoint for Mac OSX it is possible to set a custom resolution and the designated file type.
Another problem is, that for different laboratory setups, different resolutions might be necessary. Therefor most researchers program static visuals in their preferred programming language. Sometimes it takes a long time to calculate position, text spacing, alignment, font size and so on.
Wouldn’t it be very handy to benefit from the simplicity of PowerPoint to create visual stimuli?
The MATLAB based PowerPoint to image converter is a pragmatic solution to generate images from PowerPoint slides dynamically.
The MATLAB function opens an ActiveX Server which allows to access certain functionalities in PowerPoint that are not directly available in PowerPoint on Windows. Thereby it’s possible to export PowerPoint slides with the designated laboratory/experiment resolution and in the preferred file format.
For simple experiments it’s more than sufficient to create the visuals in PowerPoint and then export it to the required format of the stimuli screen and present it with the preferred visual stimuli software, e.g. Cogent / PsychToolBox, Mgl, …
For more complicated experiments with content that changes by response, by time or content for arbitrary objects on random locations prepare the non-changing background with PowerPoint and just code out the changing parts.
In order to run all 4 usage examples, Cogent, PsychToolBox and Mgl have to be installed and present on the Matlabpath. If you're just working with one of these toolboxes, just run the appropriate example in the usage example.

Cite As

Eydrian (2023). Pragmatic PowerPoint to image Converter - Windows (, MATLAB Central File Exchange. Retrieved .

MATLAB Release Compatibility
Created with R2013a
Compatible with any release
Platform Compatibility
Windows macOS Linux

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Version Published Release Notes

updated the other requirements to point out, that cogent, psychtoolbox or mgl need to be present to run one of the real-world examples ;)